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Active/Powered Speakers - KEF Speakers

Active speakers feature an in-built amplifier and are ready to use out of the box, an alternative to using passive bookshelf or floorstanding speakers with an amplifier, if space does not permit this, or where a quick and easy solution is required. Make no mistake though, these are not generic plastiky "PC speakers", we only sell very high quality active speakers from premium brands. You can use any of these to quickly and easily enjoy high quality sound from your phone/portable player, Mac/PC or from your TV with minimal set-up. Many of these are also available to listen to in our showroom. This section mostly includes paired active speakers, but we also sell single box active/wireless speakers.


KEF is a British speaker manufacturer developing industry-leading products for over 50 years. KEF has received a host of awards and stellar reviews and currently offers a wide range of hi-fi speakers and AV speakers. 

The flagship KEF Blade and smaller KEF Blade 2 speakers are renowned for their excellence and superb reproduction, and their advanced pioneering technologies and Uni-Q Driver Array designs have filtered down into lots of KEF’s consumer-end products, such as the KEF LS50 wireless speakers.

In 1961, KEF was founded by Raymond Cooke OBE an ex-BBC Electrical Engineer and headquartered the company near Maidstone, Kent. The company was set on the banks of the River Medway in the premises of a former metal working company, Kent Engineering & Foundry. Overtime by experimenting with new technologies and materials, Cooke aimed to produce superior acoustic quality with recordings reproduced to the exact nature of the original performance. 

KEF became the first company to utilise the stability of Bextrene as a cone material, which has since been incorporated in many drivers for many leading audiophile speakers. Another major breakthrough a few years later, KEF became the first to design and test loudspeakers with computer modelling leading the industry in the digital analysis of speakers. Their revolutionary work resulted in KEF being able to match speaker pairs to within half a dB for flawless audio reproduction. 

KEF eventually went on to produce their signature technology, the Uni-Q point source driver array in the next decade using NASA-developed magnets that were ten times more powerful than conventional ones. KEF stayed ahead of the game in the nineties with the advent of 5.1 home cinema recording by creating the first dedicated centre speaker in the UK, the Model 100 benefiting from Uni-Q. 

Through the years, they have been developing impressive expertise in the use of advanced acoustical, magnetic and mechanical modelling techniques such as Finite Element Analysis resulting in an accuracy that was not previously achievable. Kept under wraps since the 1980s, KEF revealed their ACE technology in 2005 demonstrating the advantages of activated carbon inside a compact speaker enclosure and its effect on internal volume and bass extension.

Now five decades from the company’s inception, KEF's scientific innovation and hands-on experimentation cements their ultimate audiophile reputation and allows them to continue to lead in developing products ahead of the market. We stock the complete KEF range, from the multimedia range (that includes active speakers, headphones and earphones) to the Q series range, LS50 range, both the wired and wireless LS50, R series range, KEF Reference range and KEF Blade, along with custom install speakers and 5.1 speaker packages for a home theatre experience.

Active Speakers are also known as "amplified speakers" or "powered speakers" due to the fact they feature an internal amplifier, which provides power to the drivers and eliminates the need for an external standalone hi-fi amplifier. Most Active Speakers include one powered unit housing an amplifier, and an additional passive “slave” speaker which draws power and signal from the other powered speaker.

Because Active Speakers come without the need for a separate amplifier, they are perfect for use with computers, on a desktop or as a lifestyle system e.g. in a living room or kitchen, as being all housed in one unit limits the unit’s footprint. Much of our range is built with the same attention to detail as typical hi-fi speakers, with manufacturers aware that their products can be as much a piece of art or furniture as a functional speaker product. With this in mind, it is easy to find a product which will look great in any room or with any décor. Our knowledgeable team is always happy to offer a demonstration and advice in our showroom. As with all of our products, we offer a comprehensive range and offer free next day UK delivery.

While they can perform capably on a desktop or surface, much like typical bookshelf hi-fi speakers, Active Speakers will almost always sound better on a dedicated speaker stands. Dedicated stands will position the speaker at the ideal listening height, and come in a range of heights for you to tailor placement to suit your typical listening position. Ideally, the tweeter should be placed at eye level to ensure the best possible stereo imaging and integration between drivers. Additionally, dedicated stands aid performance by decoupling the speaker and isolating it from the floor or any surface it might otherwise be placed on, which in turn results in greater and clearer bass performance. Many dedicated stands are fillable, which adds mass and weight, in turn adding extra bass extension and authority.

Some Active Speakers feature an in-built Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC), enabling you to plug digital sources into your speakers, and enjoy high resolution audio files. For example, this may enable you to plug a computer directly into your Active Speakers via USB input and playback high resolution WAV or FLAC files. Many models feature a range of inputs and connectivity options, enabling you to attach a wide range of devices and sources, meaning your Active Speakers can be the hub and centre of your multimedia or home entertainment system.

With Bluetooth technology coming on in leaps and bounds in terms of audio quality, aided by the creation of lossless CD quality apt-X technology, many Active Speakers offer wireless playback via Bluetooth. This enables you to connect a computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or other portable device wirelessly via Bluetooth, and enjoy simple, high-quality wireless playback from your Active system. With no external amplifier, and no unsightly wires from your device to the speakers, Active Speakers are perfect for use on desktops, counters, on smaller shelves and in more compact areas where it would be more difficult to accomodate a "normal" hi-fi system with bookshelf speakers and integrated amplifier.

Active/Powered Speakers - KEF Speakers

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